New McDonald’s Burger Looks – And Tastes – Like Hell

McDonald's black and white burger
By RFH Idea for an honest advert: Scene: A log cabin in remote woods. Five teens of mixed ethnicity/affability convene in a spooky basement to investigate a noise. Suddenly, the cast-iron stove in the back noisily cranks into action, pipes groaning. The teens gather round as, inside the stove, coals glow red-hot and wisps of smoke emerge.... Read more »

Two Exhibitions Worth Your Time: RFH Reviews “Penguin Design” And Huang Qingjun’s “Belongings”

HQJ-05 (Photographer: Huang Qingjun)
Two exhibitions opened in Beijing this weekend, both small yet worthier of a visit than many of the major ones held at, for example, the National Museum of China (unless you have a pressing interest in Louis Vuitton luggage). Saturday saw the launch of “Art, Design, Culture: The History of Penguin by Design,” first exhibited at London’s V&A. It recounts the history of the paperback (or Penguin’s at least), which was conceived by Allen Lane in the 1930s as a way to popularize books and learning.

Holy Crap! Glory Hole Spotted In Beijing

Glory hole
By RFH You’ve probably wondered how the Chinese public bathroom experience could be made any less savory. We’ve seen a few methods: stinging nettles around an earthen hole; a local pensioner eyeballing the foreigner’s bowel movement. Routine stuff. But how about an unwelcome penis being jabbed in your eye? Head out to the Chanping public... Read more »

So Long, And Thanks For All The Bullshit: Baron Christopher Devonshire-Ellis Exits China

CDE in Mongolia
By RFH Sad tidings this week, via Chris “Devonshire” Devonshire-Ellis. CDE – not to be confused with CBE (Commander of the British Empire, a British honour bound to come his way soon, one way or another) – has announced that he is leaving China in a rambling post on his otherwise unheard-of blog, China Briefing. Mostly,... Read more »

You’ll Never Eat Chuan’r Again (Sober) After Reading This Story

By RFH Recently a doctor on Weibo recalled the story of a patient – a kabob (chuanr, in Beijing patois) seller – who came in with stab wounds in the 1980s after getting into a ruckus with a customer. Upon surgery, his problems were found to be far worse than previously assumed. His stomach was riddled... Read more »

Piranhas Attack Man, Dog, Our Waking Dreams In South China

By RFH If you’re planning a holiday to Guangxi this summer – home to to what’s considered China’s most picturesque landscape – here’s a heads-up before you go swimming. There are man-eating piranhas in the river! According to the local fishery’s department, the carnivorous South American fish is commonly found in the rivers of the... Read more »

Playground Blogger Fight Attracts Ai Weiwei, Cops, Censors

Chaoyang Park fight
What happens when you’re a socialist Chinese blowhard and you get your ass handed to you by a girl after challenging her to fisticuffs in a Beijing park? You tell everyone you won, of course. In one of those weird "This is China" moments, while the rest of Beijing came to a grinding halt over some light rain at 1 pm on Friday, a whole bunch of Web users and bloggers – all of whom were carrying at least four or five umbrellas apiece – convened at the south gate of Chaoyang Park for a Grumble in Das Jungle.

NCPA Sez: The 18th National Congress Of The CPC Is On Like Donkey Kong

Original picture from Global Times
By RFH Reuters’s anonymous sources (reliable, surely) may tell us that the upcoming 18th Party Congress – aka Xi Jingping’s coronation – will be delayed, but our reading of the tea leaves yields a different conclusion. If you can’t afford to visit North Korea this summer (where a long weekend with a tour group can cost a couple-thousand... Read more »

Tianjin Llama Predicts The Shit Out Of Euro 2012

By RFH There’s a new Paul the Octupus in town. In China. And he’s a llama – no, not that kind. For some reason, and despite having fuck-all to do with Euro 2012, Tianjin Zoo is attempting to lure thrill-seekers to its no-doubt already white-knuckle zoological experience with a llama that can predict the actual... Read more »

Real Gaokao Questions: Hilarious, Baffling, Pointless (In Some Order)

High expectations dad and Tiger Mom combine forces
We’ll have to wait until July before the results of the gaokao – national university entrance exams – are announced. When they are, state media’s response will be as predictable and reflexive as British media et alia sticking an attractive blonde celebrating her A-levels on the front page (and pages 2,3,5,8 and 9). The top scorers... Read more »

Louis CK In Beijing: BJC’s Review

Zhengyici Theater
Louis CK played a show in Beijing last night; he spoke for just over an hour. Here’s what we can’t talk about – the organizers. Even though they were in season and up on stage last night, handing out the shout-outs like skittles, after midnight, they became as shy as hedgehogs and asked us not to even mention their names. So, thanks [redacted], [redacted] and [redacted] and special thanks to Louis’s official Chinese sponsors, a new, Beijing-based, live, streaming porno site offering all users free credits per orgasm that can then be exchanged for Jack Daniel’s, Cheerios and Ray Bans; their site is found at [redacted].

China’s Media Conundrum: Truth Or Bullshit?

Black man in China
By RFH The 100 Days campaign has been providing many freelancers the opportunity to convince editors back home that there’s some kind of slash ’n’ burn bender going on. A lot of these articles have been boilerplate mush, oozing from the chin of the great China news aggregator, but one particular piece about alleged racism at a newspaper, posted on... Read more »

Visit The Real London Olympics In Beijing! Sort Of

London St... in Beijing
By RFH When the Chinese don’t have the time or money to visit a foreign country, they bring the foreign country to China. And they do it their way: at the Beijing World Park, for example, you can see Niagara Falls as it should have been (roaring into the Grand Canyon), learn that Southwark is... Read more »

A June 4 Story: The Shanghai Stock Exchange Is Messin’ With The Politburo

Shanghai Stock Market
By RFH Confounding even the most grounded of numerologists, the movements on today’s Shanghai Stock Exchange have caused a minor stir. The index opened at: Open: 2,346.98 Day Range: 2,308.23 – 2,348.20 Year To Date: +4.96% Previous Close: 2,373.44 52-Week Range: 2,132.63 – 2,826.96 1-Year: -15.38% That’s 2,346.98 as in 23 years since 4/6, which... Read more »

Foreigner Accused Of Rape Currently In Police Custody

Is this the alleged rapist?
An update of the story earlier today of the man accused of sexually assaulting a Chinese girl in Beijing: There’s scant information that’s verifiable. For example, a photograph has been offered up on Weibo (above) that purports to show the same man – or at least a man wearing the same trousers and shoes –... Read more »

Unable To Convince World The SS Jiangya Was A Worse Maritime Disaster Than The RMS Titanic, China Seeks To Build Titanic II

By RFH WTF moments are frequent in China; they can happen just reading a newspaper. Today’s chin-scratcher occurred on page five of the Global Times, where, sandwiched between an only mildly splenetic front-page story about Chen Guangcheng (Chen will not have “any problems as long as he obeys the law and expresses his demands lawfully,”... Read more »

Salacious, Scandalous, And Totally Unsubstantiated Rumors Regarding Bo Xilai

"Give me your your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle." Photo by Feng Li / GETTY IMAGES
By RFH With all the stuff going around about Bo, Bogu, Guagua, Gu and, of course, Neil and Nick Heywood, it’s getting hard for even the most Burroughs of media junkies to keep up. Every time I tell myself I’m done with it, Malcolm Moore at the Telegraph or Jeremy Page of Wall Street Journal turn up offering another... Read more »